Friday, January 05, 2007

It's All About Commitment, Really

Men have their deer, their elk, their fish stories. Women have their shopping stories. Get ready for a whopper, ladies, and the big one didn't get away.

While talking to my sister-in-law last night, I received a hot tip about Target's 90% off sale. That's right. T is a bargain hunter like me. We love us a bargain. We do have some standards. I mean, the item has to be really a deal, not just a pitiful 20 or even 25% off, and the said item has to be of use to some person somewhere in the universe. We may or may not use the item ourselves, but we are sure to pass it on to some lucky soul who will.

When T told me that today was probably the first day of the BIG 9o, as I like to call it in the circle 'o shoppers, I began to make serious plans.

Y'all know I hate lists, but this was a mental one:

1. Take daughter to school.
2. Purchase liquid doughnut at Starbucks.
3. Burn rubber to Target.

This morning, items one and two went off without a glitch, except for the massive, blinding tornado- spawning rain pounding my vehicle. Still, I pressed on. When I got close to Target, I noticed the traffic lights were out. Not a good sign.

Like any normal person, I drove on to Target in lieu of heading home to a safe place, like the hallway. Target's lights were out, but the doors were still open. They were running on emergency generator and allowing people to actually roam the aisles. Either no one on the premises was concerned about shoplifters lurking in the twilight or the store security is sporting night vision goggles.

I worked in retail years ago, so I know that most store clerks hate it when the lights go out. Only thieves shop in the dark, or weird people.


I also know that the retail powers that be will do anything to restore lighting and the lights usually come back on rather quickly. I was right.

After a very necessary browse of the baby section, I perused the Big 90. It is just insane the good stuff I found. I called Mama on my cell phone (she is in another state) and the conversation went something like this:

"Hey, Mama. I'm in Target. They've got their Christmas stuff at 90% off!"
"You have become one of those people who call folks on their cell phone while they're in the store."
"I know. But this is important!"

After ridiculing me for my lack of cell phone etiquette, Mama told me what she wanted and I proceeded on my quest. I had really hit my stride until the unthinkable happened to a fellow shopper. Her baby spit up all over her. All. Over. Her. She managed to sort of catch it between herself and her baby, but most of it was hanging in space, waiting for gravity to do its thing.

Now, if you haven't been in a Target because you have lived under a rock or something, you wouldn't know that the Christmas section is at one end of the football field length store and the ladies' restroom is at the other.

After the incident, several of us gathered 'round the poor woman. She stood there, helpless, covered in the stuff, while her baby looked like she actually felt much better. The mom's other child, a toddler, was climbing in and out of the cart like most helpful kids do when their sibling has just retched and their mother is covered in the results. I think it is one of Murphy's Laws. The rest of us stood with her, a circle of friends, if you will, and we began shouting out a plan.

"Oh, bless your heart!"
"Let me see if I have a tissue."
"I can't find anything in my purse."
"Me either."
"I'll go to the bathroom for you."

Finally, one of the alpha females, apparently more experienced in this than the rest of us, kneeled down beside her cart and ripped open the package of toilet paper she had planned to purchase. (In bulk, of course.) She gave the poor, vomit-showered mom the whole roll, and we all cheered.

The mom wiped off herself and her baby, told her toddler to get back in the cart, then held her head high and continued to the cash register to purchase everything she had carefully collected.

What did you expect her to do? Leave her loot right there and go freshen up?

As this has become a novella of sorts about bargains, babies, projectiles and phone etiquette (can't wait for the googles on this one), I will end this post.

I scored. Oh, yes I did.

I bought 2 very cute Christmas trees in even cuter pots for Mama's porch at the low, low price of $8.00, and another indoor smaller tree for $6.00. They also have lights, people! I found rolls of wrapping paper for 50 cents, Christmas gift tags practically free and the most darling Magnolia garland for my mantle for the rock bottom price of $3.49. It was a very good day of hunting and gathering. If I could, I would mount the Christmas cards I found on one of those plaques they use at the taxidermist, but that would be showing off. And tacky.

So, head to Target and good luck. Just watch out for all of those weird people.

Update: My sister-in-law emailed me. I am such an amateur. She went to FOUR Targets today and even made money with a coupon. Can I hear applause?


BooMama said...

Do you know the restraint it's taking for me not to go get in the car right this second? Do you have ANY IDEA? Do you know that Target is only five minutes from my house? Do you know that I haven't even seen those trees in pots that you speak of but I MUST HAVE ONE?

I think I'm starting to twitch.

Nancy said...

I laughed at BooMama's comment, because I had the same thought. "I wonder if hubby would mind if I head over to Target right now. I know he paid for DaVinci code on pay-per-view and all, but it wouldn't take me THAT long." Truly, he would be asleep before I returned. :)
Hopefully tomorrow there will still be bargains.

Big Mama said...

If it weren't 9:00 at night right now and if I weren't in my pajamas, I would be on my way for sure. I'll be there tomorrow FOR SURE even if it means that I'm dragging the 3 year old with me.

I must buy something at 90% off.

Anonymous said...

It's only 11:28 p.m. now...d'you think they're still open??

Gotta getta bargain, gotta getta bargain, gotta getta bargain....

It's a sickness, pure and simple.

Roxanne said...

Okay. . .I came over here from the walking website to tell you that you are most definitely NOT a loser for not breaking a sweat this week. . .then I read your Target story and am a) certain you walked half a mile in Target alone just to get to the Christmas dept. in the far back corner and b) cheering for the show of sister solidarity on the clearance aisle. You.Go.Girl. . .

Anonymous said...

My husband was in Target yesterday and bought me a bunch of pants for $2.98 each. He knows how cheap I am, and he was so proud of himself. I should have gone myself for 90% off. I had no idea.

Jennifer said...

your post was so funny! Love it, love it, love it! Between you and Boomama I will never experience Target in the same way again. Or talk on the phone in a store the same way...I will hear your mother in my head, with a southern accent accusing me of being one of "those" people who talk on phones in store!

I'm itching to head to target now too, I would pass on the christmas stuff, but the magnolia wreath sounds just right...

Jenny in Ca

Anonymous said...

Target used to be 5 mins from my house, and then it moved across town. Very frustrating for a dialy visitor. But, it is now very close to where I work, so I can drive by when I want. It's just not the same as the daily visit. My husband probably engineered the move.

Anonymous said...

First time poster here- I love your blog!

One of the reasons we changed where we are moving to is bacause the first city (Meridian) did not have a Target- or a Publix for that matter. Ok, ok, my husband says the real reason was because of a change in his company, blah, blah, blah. I know the real reason! And the new location (Valdosta) does have BOTH a Target and a Publix!! Halleluia!

Melanie said...

Valdosta is my old stomping grounds. Love the town. You will enjoy it.

Chrissy said...

If it weren't for the fact that I have a bad case of bronchitis, I'd be there...

Anonymous said...

Oh, I hope they still have some of those Christmas trees! I read about the Jesse trees this year, but didn't have a little tree. Maybe I can find one for next year.

Anonymous said...

Oh - I was in Target last month for my 7- and 10-year-old girls' birthday shopping trip, and Lily came down with the beginnings of a stomach virus while we were there. Every time I would get her changed, it would start again. I even bought her a change of clothes there and took her to the bathroom to change.

After three times of this, we were out of diapers and clothes and had to carry her to the car wrapped in a blanket. My other poor daughters had to save their shopping for another day; we just couldn't stay out of the bathroom or keep the baby clothed. I'm glad this mom was able to make it to the check-out (I did make it there once - buying the change of clothes).

Grafted Branch said...

I can totally see the scene with the alpha females shouting out the plan and the quick-thinking hero and the applause...hilarious!

My toddler-vomiting-in-the-store experience wasn't funny. Just messy. And smelly. Thanks for the laugh.